Celebrating Indigenous Life at Mandelbaum

This week we celebrate Reconciliation Week in Australia, a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Our six Indigenous residents recently organised our first Mandelbaum Yarn. Initiated by Logan Culley (a proud Darkinjung man), we held a day of learning, discussion, questions, and exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their history, and their culture in the form of a traditional Yarn.

Over half our residents joined to listen to each of our First Nations residents and their personal stories about their mobs, totems, and what it is like growing up Aboriginal in Australia. They all had the opportunity of learning traditional dance including the Rainbow Serpent, Dhinawan the Emu, and Shake-A-Leg! Logan, Aislin (a proud Larrakia woman) and Lincoln (a proud Mudburra and Limilngan man) with the assistance of resident Maher, cooked (offsite) some traditional damper, kangaroo, dukkah, dried apricots, and salty plums for the residents to try. Everyone loved our bush tukka and came back for seconds (and thirds)!

As part of learning about First Nations culture, the residents were asked to create their own Dreamtime stories using symbols commonly used in Aboriginal art. These drawings were amazing and will be displayed in our lounge room.

To wrap up our Yarn Day, our international residents shared their personal stories and knowledge about their Indigenous peoples from their home countries. We heard stories from Taiwan, New Zealand, the US, and Mexico!

Our Mandelbaum Yarn was a fantastic day that allowed us to teach everyone about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and why it is so important to learn and discuss our history.

A special thanks to Logan (a proud Darkinjung man), Aislin (a proud Larrakia woman), Lincoln (a proud Mudburra and Limilngan man), Izzy (a proud Budari woman), Kallie (a proud Wailwan woman), and Noah (a proud Kamilaroi man) who showed fantastic initiative for this college event!!

Article by: Logan Culley, Mandelbaum House resident

Photographer: Aislin O’Neil